View Full Version : Mats

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Patrick O'Reilly
10-11-2003, 07:38 AM
I was wondering if any one on this site has information on setting up mats in a dojo. Where I train, a new school, we have tatami mats, approx. 4'x 8',. Because they move a little every time we train we have to move the back together each time so we want to put a frame/border around the whole mat area to keep them from moving. We have some ideas of how to do it but I want to do some research to save time and money and make the border as safe as possible. I looked up "mats" in google but there was nothing about setting up a border.

So if any one has experiance or info/links on what to use and how to do it I like to hear about it.

L. Camejo
10-11-2003, 09:31 AM
I think there is info on setting up borders on Aikidofaq.com, a search there may yield some results.

Alternatively there is something called mat tape that may work depending on the surface you are on, this can be found at www.zebramats.com it stops the outer mats from slipping, keeping the inner ones in place as well.


10-11-2003, 04:28 PM
If you are using tatami style mats, a border around them is a good idea to keep them from moving. however, this works only if you leave the mats down all the time (i.e., not in a shared-space setting). I suggest you just get 2x4s as long as possible and screw them together.

Almost as important is what is under the tatami mats. If it is cement, you will eventually want to build a subfloor of wood or a more flexible surface.

You can contact me directly to learn about how we built such a floor based on Geoff Evan's design for Aikido of Davis, CA.

Patrick O'Reilly
10-11-2003, 06:11 PM
Yes, 2x4s are my first choice, I made a corner mock-up with overlapping 2x3 furring stripps as another idea. The reason I tried the furring stripps is because I can stack them and it makes the same thickness as a 2x4 but I can overlap them at the corners and the joints to make them strong aand maybe save on corner braces and joint braces. The corner section I made is very strong without adding a corner brace but I did any way to show my instructor.

The other thing is safety. I want to wrap the wood with a layer of carpet padding (the mats are sitting on carpet then a layer of carpet padding) then wrap a layer of canvas or vinyl, like what the mats are covered with. This way it is softer and no possiblity of slivers. The vinyl I found already has a little bit of padding on it. I have to watch the height of the frame though so it's not higher than the mats. I think it would be too easy to trip over it getting on and off the mat, especially since people tend to walk off backwards because they're bowing off the mat.

12-13-2003, 08:39 AM
Hi all,

We built the frame as Pat had suggested, but unfortunately the mat frame bends even with metal reinforcements on the long sides. The mats are Swain tatami, 1 meter by 2 meter, and part of the problem is that not all the mats are equal in size (I didn't think I was buying irregulars!) and the total mat space is 18 x 21 or there abouts. We have a dedicated space so they are down for as long as we rent the space, and the mats sit on top of a layer of carpet padding which is on top of concrete and carpeting. I tried the stick-tape from Zebra/Swain and it didn't work worth a darn. I think we might need to brace the entire structure to the walls to help keep the mats from moving. The other problem is that the long sides have bowed out signficantly and even putting filler in between it and the mats doesn't work.

Any other suggestions? We are going to try and rebuild/redo this after the holidays, so please give any suggestions you can.

thanks, Rachel

12-13-2003, 11:24 AM
Any other suggestions?

thanks, Rachel
Yes, as I previously posted, I recommend that you build a subfloor with the edges attached. I will be glad to forward photos of how we did this using Geoff Evan's excellent design. Just send me your return email address.


12-13-2003, 11:33 AM
Thanks Aviv,

I sent you an email message....

12-15-2003, 05:41 PM
hello Aviv, still haven't heard back from you.

You can write to me at


thanks! Rachel